The World Premiere of
To The Green Fields Beyond

by Nick Whitby

Previews from 14 September
opened 25 September through until 25 November 2000

The Donmar Warehouse
41 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LD

Donmar Warehouse Box Office Tel:+44 (0)20 7369 1732
Click here for Donmar Warehouse website

Ray WinstoneDirected by Sam Mendes
Designed by Anthony Ward
Lighting by Howard Harrison
Music by Stephen Warbeck

Cast includes Ray Winstone
with Dougray Scott, Danny Babington, Finbar Lynch, Danny Sapani, Adrian Scarborough, Hugh Dancy, Nitin Ganatra.


cast of 'Green Fields'
A haunting new play.

Early Autumn 1918. An eight man multi-racial tank crew wait to go into battle. The events of one night in the heart of the forest, at the heart of the Great War.





Generally, the reviewers like the cast, but not the play itself.

The Evening Standard 26 Sept - click here
The Times 26 Sept - click here
The Independent 26 Sept - click here
The Daily Telegraph 27 Sept - click here
The Financial Times 26 Sept - click here
The Observer 1 October - click here

Ray Winstone as Ain in 'To The Green Fields Beyond'

Press Releases

According to The Guardian,

The A7V crew rides atop their vehicle at the railhead near Villers-Bretonneux , April 1918The play revolves around a multiracial crew of a tank during the Somme offensive in September 1916. The generals hoped that the new weapon would turn around the war, stuck in a battle of attrition, by being able to break through the German lines.

But most of the tanks broke down with mechanical failures on their first outing at the Somme, long before they got in sight of German trenches, and failed to break the stalemate.

In contrast to army tradition, the new tank corps recruited from all corners of the British empire, and moreover its tank commanders were "ordinary blokes" rather than officers.


From Ananova 21 July 2000:

Actor abandons hardman image for mendes play

Actor Ray Winstone will swap his hardman image for that of a caring soldier in Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes's next play at his London theatre.

The 43-year-old actor, whose gritty films include Scum and Nil By Mouth, will play a brave and sensitive lance corporal in the wartime drama To the Green Fields Beyond at the Donmar Warehouse.

He will be joined by a host of younger actors, including Hugh Dancy, who played David Copperfield in the BBC adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic last Christmas.

A spokeswoman said: "The play is an ensemble piece set among a tank unit on the eve of the First World War, so there are no main characters as such".

"Ray's character is quite different from anything he has done before. He's basically a very good man."


Press Release 23 June 2000:

Ray Winstone will star in director Sam Mendes' first stage production since his Oscar success with the film American Beauty. Winstone will play a member of a World War I tank crew in the world premiere of Nick Whitby's To the Green Fields Beyond which opens at the Donmar Warehouse on 25 September (previews from 14 September) and continues to 25 November 2000.

Mendes had planned - and already begun casting for - a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night for the autumn run, but was so taken with Whitby's script that he changed the theatre's schedule at short notice. Speaking at the time, he said: "Shakespeare can wait. You have to take advantage of a good and exciting new play like this. It is not every day they land on your desk."

The drama takes place in the autumn of 1918 and examines the relationships between the men in the multi-racial crew as they battle against the odds. During the war, many Army generals believed that this new weapon of war could break the deadlock of the trenches, but most of the tanks seized up as a result of mechanical breakdowns.

To the Green Fields Beyond will be Winstone's first stage performance since 1997 when he appeared at the Royal Court in Caryl Churchill's This Is a Chair.  His stage credits include Patrick Marber's debut play Dealer's Choice at the National and Joe Penhall's Some Voices and Pale Horse at the Royal Court.

Nick Whitby's previous work includes Dirty Dishes, about illegal workers at a pizza restaurant, which has been a great success in Germany.  He has also worked on Crossroads, Boon, first Sean Hughes Show, and Eddie Izzard's pilot sitcom Cows.  He is still in his early 30s.

Miscellaneous Fact: 'To The Green Fields Beyond' is also the name of a tank role-playing game.

Click Here!

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